MUMBAI: Raghav Bahl-promoted Network18 is selling its entire 77.5 per cent stake in NewsWire18 to private equity firm Samara Capital for Rs 900 million.
The deal marks the exit of Network18 from the news terminal business and values NewsWire18 at Rs 1.17 billion.
Network18 had incubated the company with the founding CEO Pankaj Aher and his team.
Network18 is pursuing the strategy of divesting its non-core assets profitably to allow greater focus on its core television and digital businesses.
The transaction is expected to add approximately Rs 700 million to Network18’s consolidated pre-tax profit for the current quarter, the company said.
BMR Advisors acted as the sole transaction adviser to Network18.
NewsWire18 will be rechristened over the next 90 days as a result of the transaction.
The divestment of NewsWire18 forms part of a series of asset monetisation transactions by Network18. Earlier during the year, Network18 had sold its stake in one of the Capital18 investee companies – NetworkPlay and then partially diluted its stake in India’s premier Digital Commerce asset –Bookmyshow.com.
Network18 MD Raghav Bahl said, "The divestiture of Newswire18, India’s leading financial data and news terminal business is a reflection of our commitment to profitably monetize non-core assets for the benefit of our shareholders and to also facilitate the growth of these businesses to the next level. We are proud to have partnered with NewsWire18 in its journey thus far and are confident that Pankaj and his team will continue to excel and build one of the finest financial data businesses in India."
Commenting on the deal, Network18 Group CEO Sai Kumar said, "In a few short years, NewsWire18 has grown into a leader in its space and we take great pride and pleasure in having written this wonderful growth story. The growth at NewsWire18 is a reflection of Network18’s business building skills and the value that our network eco-system brings to a business. We would like to give Pankaj and his team and Samara Capital our best wishes as they embark on the next phase of their journey."